Weight lifting is an ideal way to build muscle, tone your body, and increase your metabolism. However, because weight lifting can lead to back injuries, it is not recommended to start a routine without educating yourself about the proper technique. Here are four lifting tips to help you to prevent back injuries:
Focus on the Core
Focusing on your core muscles will help to strengthen that area of the body which will take the pressure off of your vulnerable back. Most Americans have terrible posture, which can weaken back muscles and stress the spine. By strengthening your abs, lats, and traps, you will set yourself up for more success with weight lifting while also reducing your risk of injury.
Have a Spotter Check Your Form
A trained spotter can check to ensure that your form is correct. The right form will both minimize the risk of back injuries and maximize muscle gain. A spotter can also create motivation as a tool to inspire and encourage you to keep at it. When you have reached the point of exhaustion, a spotter will push you to the finish line. Most fitness centers will have staff on hand to spot for their members. You can also look into finding a workout accountability partner to help with this task.
It can be tempting to go all out with a new routine with the hopes of gaining maximum results. However, the best weight lifting plans start with light weights and then work up from there. By starting lighter, you can master the correct form before pushing yourself to the next level. This will minimize the risk of injury because you will be moving correctly when you start lifting the heavyweights.
Focus on Flexibility
Although they might not seem related, flexibility goes hand in hand with strength. Including a proper stretching regimen in your weight lifting routine will help you to reduce muscle stiffness and improve your overall flexibility. Because stiff muscles are often a precursor to back injury, taking the proper precautions to be flexible can prevent pain down the road. To improve your flexibility and overall strength, working with a coach can greatly assist you in your fitness goals.
Heading into a new weight lifting routine equipped with the right knowledge, gear and accessories will help you to make the most out of your time in the gym. Remember to take it slow and consider how all of the elements of your physical fitness work together to deliver good health.